China / Society

China chokes on pricey prawn scam

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-08 21:24

BEIJING - Public outcry over an over-priced prawn scam has prompted the China Consumers' Association (CCA) to tell regulators to pull together to fight tourist rip-offs.

There should be zero-tolerance for unlawful business operations, said a CCA spokesperson Thursday, telling local regulators to deal with consumer complaints properly and blacklist businesses that break the rules.

The statement came after a diner ordered a prawn dish marked as 38 yuan (6 US dollars) from the menu of a seafood barbecue restaurant in Qingdao, a popular tourist destination, last week. He was then asked to give a bill for 1,520 yuan because the price was per prawn, a fact stated in small print on the menu.

Qingdao's municipal government has since revoked the restaurant's license, fined it 90,000 yuan, and the local official in charge of market regulation has been suspended from duty.

Tourists routinely complain about exorbitant pricing during holidays in China, as well as local governments' failure to remedy the situation.

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